by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog
In the United States media editorial policy has not wavered on one subject this year: Ukraine is always winning the war.
From the first week, when the Ukrainian air force and navy were smashed, to last week’s smashing of the electrical grid – this is what “victory” looks like in the Ukrainian language, apparently. The Russians can electorally incorporate territory after territory, but to suggest that Ukrainian victory hasn’t already arrived is verboten in American public spaces.
What is the point of reading American coverage of the unrest in Ukraine when it’s so very absurd?
The point is: to learn what America is thinking, of course. If it’s deluded then – like it or not – that’s the story, and the story always writes itself in honest journalism.
I was talking with a Polish cab driver whom I found extremely intelligent, and not only because he has an Iranian brother-in-law and thus knew and respected Iranian culture. This longtime immigrant cabbie was very pro-Ukraine and anti-Russian, which is his right and not unexpected, and he was a typical Pole in that he was ardently pro-American. However, he volunteered to me that he found Americans to be the most effectively propagandised people in the world – he said they, invariably, merely mouthed whatever they heard on TV news.
It is one thing to dismiss the criticism of your enemies, but the criticisms of your friends merit some refection.
I have also personally found the same iron-jawed retention of dogma: Americans tell me that only in very recent weeks have they heard anyone even suggest the idea that the war isn’t going well for Ukrainians. I agree, as I have yet to hear such a remark (outside of interviews of political analysts for my work at PressTV), and I have gotten many strange stares when I brought up the idea – in my personal life – for discussion.
It is happy news for Americans to talk about, after all: “Hey, did you hear? The Ukrainians are winning the war! Still!” However, it is my role in the US to be a wet blanket whenever discussions turn political, I lament.
When the subject of Ukraine comes up I start with the fact that I have lived in France for over the past decade and – because France is usually at the heart of European diplomacy – I have been reporting on the Ukraine unrest since 2014. At the mention of the idea that Ukraine existed before February 2022 a glaze goes over their eyes.
Similarly, someone recently congratulated me on the Iranian revolution. What a pleasant thing to hear, thank you! Unfortunately, this person was referring to the current anti-hijab law unrest and not 1979. Just as Ukraine is winning the war, so this person was convinced that these protests have effectuated a (counter-) revolution. When it comes to Iran the American “this information cannot be allowed to even momentarily penetrate my mind” eye-glaze starts sooner – it arrives at the very first contrary word I utter.
I bring up Iran to show the pattern: Ukraine has always been winning, is winning currently and will win in the future because the US always wins every war it embarks upon.
After all, the US was always winning the war in Afghanistan. The only internal disagreement ever allowed was regarding their total retreat in August 2020 – was it poorly planned, or not? If the former, then the total US victory was disgracefully (though merely slightly) tarnished by the total US retreat.
The US was always winning the war in Iraq, as well. Shock and awe prevailed from start to finish, with the finish being a total shock at how few positives the US-led war created for either the Iraqis or the Americans. The indisputable fact of the American victory, however: totally awesome, of course.
The Balkanised disaster which is Libya? Another victory. Assad still standing in Syria? Still a victory, though don’t ask for explanations. Cold wars in Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Nicaragua and any other revolutionary country? Victory is so close the US media can see it, they insist.
These foolish political mis-notions cannot be blamed on the average American: all these places are so far away and so far removed from the totally precarious daily rat race/shooting gallery which is American life, and the information they can find is so incredibly one-sided.
Negligence can constitute a crime, indeed, but we must learn that here there is not actual malice: I was not shocked to do a report on a top foreign policy poll which showed that 79% of Americans want peace with Iran. This is even the foreign policy issue which earned the most unanimity, excepting only one: by one percentage point more, Americans want more legislative control over the executive branch’s ability to wage war – i.e., they want more peace.
The crime committed by the average American is neither malice nor negligence but the fault of naiveté – their expectation that a media dominated by private and not public ownership will ever consistently produce journalism which benefits the people and not the rich owners. Call it Western Liberal Democracy or the American Way or neoliberalism: history shows that it has always failed, is failing and will only fail for the 99%.
The US media and politicians know which levers to pull to produce naiveté: note how it’s always the “Ukrainian people” against “Putin” – there are no Russian people. Putin, of course, is not an actual person either – he’s a monster.
Which side could a busy soccer mom possibly be expected to take, especially when trying to have pleasant chit-chat with other busy soccer moms? Why, the only American thing to do is to buy that $25 pro-Ukraine scented candle and display it proudly for others to envy….
In the United States Ukraine will always be winning the war, no matter what actually happens in the war. When their destructive loss is indisputable, that will be unimportant – the US will certainly be in the middle of winning a new war.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His latest book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’.
Ukrainians territorial defense morale is so bad,defense in Donbass is in collapse. Zelensky is down to sending platoons of mercenaries against regimental strength artillery and ISR supremacy.
An interesting comment by Dima of the Military Summary was reports of intercepted radio or telephone messages from troops massing in eastern Ukraine speaking in Polish and other non-Ukrainian languages.
Good! It’s about time that the Poles finally get their arses handed over to them! They have been due for that since 1945!
Insurmountable imperial gibberish:
“War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and to loose is to win”.
When thinking in uncertainties (Chinese), like A har certainty 100%-90%-80%-70%-60%-50%, then
A with certainty 50 = Not A with certainty 50
A = not A
Americans are loyal to fashion.
At it’s core it is about acceptance.
Americans will hold the beliefs that they think will ensure their acceptance
by their identity group.
Fashions change and Americans will discard Ukraine like out-of-fashion T-shirts.
Assuming, of course, we all survive Armageddon
Here is an American storefront display case from this past summer.
It contains, ironically, a nuclear family [that *is* a real American phrase].
Note that the dummies [correct American term, again] are appropriately headless.
We’ve lived all our lives in the US, but with frequent travels to foreign lands, with different cultures, languages, and societal norms..
We can appreciate you speaking to a few Americans who appear to be very pro-Ukraine, and/or Pro-US military policies. But, from that small sampling, foreigners should not conclude that it’s what a majority of Americans think about the Ukraine & Russia.
To better understand what Americans think, in a way, we can generalize. Upper middle class, wealthy folks tend to view Ukraine in one way, while those on the lower-to-middle rungs of citizens either don’t pay a wit of attention to “another US war” OR their perceptions are based on watching, reading the propaganda machine called “The Mainstream Press.” Meaning, “propaganda” works well for the uninformed citizens.
Because of the growing ranks of impoverished Americans (approximately 40 Million Citizens) the lower class folks are far more concerned about paying their monthly bills than ever considering what is going on in the Ukraine or in Russia.
Hope that helps a little.
If Americans believe that everything is going fine for themselves and their allies and subordinates wherever they intervene, why not let them delude themselves in that? Is that not harmless? Children believe such things. Also, there is a maxim that one should not interrupt the enemy while he is making his mistakes.
But the thing that Americans must begin to realize is that American foreign policy is a destructive force. The talk of freedom and democracy is quite wrong-headed. George W. Bush talked about “freedom for the Iraqi people” and where is Iraq now? It is devastated as are Libya and Syria, as are in fact all of the places in which the US has intervened including Ukraine! Ukraine would have been a much happier place had it remained a satellite of Russia, as would have been Afghanistan in the last 43 years. Since World War II this has resulted in the deaths and displacement of millions in Korea, Vietnam, Indochina and the Arab countries.
This is the delusion that is not harmless, the delusion that they have been doing good while they have doing the very opposite all the time. The US is not the solution, it is the problem.
The Ukie forces have valiantly taken control of a few abandoned villages, if that constitutes winning..
Otherwise, Kherson counter-offensives ! & 2 were a failure; stopped in their tracks..
Not many options left for the Supreme Field Commander Zelensky except for small-scale terrorism..
A cold, dark Winter in store for the Fascist part of UA, and they deserve it..
Ukraine is being liberated “Step by Step,” says the Cokehead of Kiev
complete article can be read at link provided … mod
Well said. Got to admire the rugged determined optimism of the average US citizen. Australia is no different. We have turned our most squalid defeats into glorious victories. With just two nuclear powered submarines we will rule under the waves. Look out China! If they’re built and if we could afford them and if they’re not under US control when they are not delivered. We have the Abrams Tank, the M1. Where does it go? Anywhere it wants! Except the top end in the ‘wet’ – six months. Has to be transported often equivalent to the length and breadth of Europe just to get to a staging area – on the only road available to reach the top-end. Where one breakdown can close the road – and where the wet actually does. We have the F-35 – twenty-five years in the making and already obsolete ten years ago… and with a secret switch (complex computer software) so that the US can turn them off in mid-air – in case Australia gets too uppity.
Never mind, we have boundless optimism to match the empty heads of our military commanders – the US of course.
Is this what I’ve been told is the eternal cycle of peremoga and zrada that Ukrainians seem to be inflicted with?
Ramin, that was a perfect observation of the US population, and thanks for the kindness that such naivety deserves, even though its consequences are so lethal.
Really, I must say that this little essay of yours could sit in the body of American writing as well as any indigenous piece. It really is perfect.
“the totally precarious daily rat race/shooting gallery which is American life”
“the only American thing to do is to buy that $25 pro-Ukraine scented candle and display it proudly for others to envy”
You’re kind of sarcastic here. Some French blogger, Philippe Grasset, describes the US as a country that can be neither defeated nor doing any evil. I translate from French his “indéfectibilité” and “inculpabilité”. You describe the first by writing that the USA are always winning any war they are in. The latter is about the USA seeing themselves as doing the good and benevolent thing. They can’t do otherwise in their view of themselves.
With that view of themselves, they appear to me as delusional. They can’t help being so. Propaganda is not the way they see their news system. It’s the truth, their truth. One incredible quote was “We are the empire now. We create reality.” I have problems wrapping my mind around it but it describes the entire news and political system in the US.
They are totally into “creating reality” and we are “reality based people will only be able to study that reality, even judiciously. When, (we) are over, (they)’ll have created another reality. So (we)’ll be forced to study that new reality” from scratch. The process will go forever according to that man.
The high level functionary in the W administration described how the USA are working since 2001. It’s incredibly short, clear and pertinent.
They are the empire. They create reality.
You come in with another view on the thing. You come to them like I would be busy telling you that you are not Iranian, that nothing happened in 1979 and so on.
Sarcasm is deserved. You hit a wall. If you can break it, the USA will crumble badly and humanity will be better off, much better. I do not believe one second it will be perfect but I can live without the “City on the Hill” intervening in my business and my mind. If you can break it, you’d do a great service to humanity.
I live in an area of Northern California that used to be part of Russia. There are thousands of Russian descendants here and plenty who come immigrated since. We don’t truck with Ukraine and we know what’s up. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them will resist here.
Thank you for this article.
However, there is one point which I will disagree with and that is ” a media dominated by private and not public ownership” will be biased with the inference being that a public media will not be biased.
My experience here in Australia is that ALL media are biased; even the state owned Australian Broadcasting Commission (the ABC) is totally biased. This is basically because our media, like most media, are both lazy and cowed by government. For example, it has been a joke here that if you want to read what the NY Times is reporting, then all you have to do is watch the ABC’s ‘Breakfast’ show to get the headlines and more often than not the dot points as well.
It once used to be that the ABC had some truly signature programs that opened up the various cans of worms present in our society but that has sadly gone by the wayside, especially any reporting on the virus and the war where all we get is non-stop propagandising for the governmental position. Independent thought in this country on these topics especially is verboten and will either lead to ostracism or if you are in a professional position relating to these topics a potential loss of your livelihood.
Hi fellow Australian. You gazumped my intended post which echoes yours. I too picked on the quote : “their expectation that a media dominated by private and not public ownership will ever consistently produce journalism which benefits the people and not the rich owners.”
Now aged in my later 70’s -for most of my adult life i used to listed daily to the ABC ( National broadcaster ) + their Evening News as well as SBS ( Partially Govt funded.) This all changed a few years ago when the ABC started to bad talk the Chinese. Then with Covid the ABC & SBS both went crazy with full time propaganda about taking the untested & dangerous Jabs. They ramped up more bad & slanted news (not) about China & now of course there is absolutely NO balance in their daily reporting of Bad Russia , Good Ukraine & bad China.
I too despair because no one talks about it & they don’t want to know. The propaganda is all consuming. I hope things go hot & the West gets a hiding they won’t forget. Australia & all 5 eyes need a good lesson!
Sadly, I agree. Being mid 70s myself and having grown up with the ABC (Argonauts when a kid!) I too remember a time when the ABC was neutral. Not now. It’s indisputable that we need a wake up.
The same happens in Brasil. All MSM are biased, following the order of their bosses (capitalists). It is a shame what we see in Brasil. Part of the people looks like zombies.
Soooo delightful to read You!
Spot on and entertaining!
Ukraine will lose no doubt. Russia may gain some territory, but it will be made to pay a heavy price economically, militarily, and perhaps politically if China continues to toe the US line, i.e. do same as with Iran, provide some basics for bare survival, but not enough for prosperity. If Russia can build a strong consumer industry, and circumvent sanctions in the long term, it might not be termed a loser. This will depend on other countries not toeing US line, esp. China. The future will tell, and it is not unlikely that both Russia and Ukraine will end up as losers, and perhaps America the winner (for a while).
The fact that Russia is losing the war against the NATO forces is well established. The facts repeated endlessly on the MSM for all to admire. Yet none admit to watching anymore?
My curiosity is on alert for the day when reality bites. These befuddled folks can deny huge numbers of unexplained deaths from unknown causes. The speculation passes for a sport these days.
Putin’s spokes gal Maria says we Westerners all live in a fantasy land. When you read official translations of his speech’s he is not only respectful and polite but sensible with a certain concern for humanity sorely lacking in say WEF diktats. Have no doubt, Putin is he and Maria is she, but thanks for asking.
Perhaps when all those americans stationed in 800 bases around the world finally come crawling home with their tales between their legs we might collectively wake up. Or will that be too late to save our sorry asses.
The white Western judeo-christian mass media cannot be trusted. Too many lies. Too many deceptions. It is a blunt instrument completely controlled by the criminal colonialists.
Or better saying: US is really the Empire of Lies. WAKE UP US people. Your government and presstitute is making you fools!!!!!
Ramin Mazaheri wrote:
“Americans tell me that only in very recent weeks have they heard anyone even suggest the idea that the war isn’t going well for Ukrainians.”
Why you accept such a nonsense? If you go to Mexico, to Cuba, to Nicaragua, to Venezuela, to Columbia, to Bolivia, to Argentina and so many other regions of America, all this people are americans, they think completely different.
I continue to attack all this nonsense, what i also found in the blog “the saker”. And not only here. You all have to start to reflect your own thinking and argumentations.
many greetings, willi
Us yanks have unfairly taken ownership of the American handle. The day may already be here when no one will want to be identified as an American. I am glad the rest of the world is coming to their senses re the US. I just wish it wasn’t such a bloody process but seems that’s always been our calling card.
We are an experiment gone wrong. This is what happens when Advertising is more powerful than truth.
Don’t despair, some good will come out of it frankly!
Various delegations, like the Pelosi entourage recently, and the other Lavender Hill mob/delegations, even those undercover CIA regime-change operatives will think twice about sticking their superior polecat faces into the internal affairs of a sovereign country, otherwise, they’ll quickly become persona non grata across Zone B, possibly, in parts of Europe also, once the full bite of the coming depression kicks in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few US Embassies being torched. Yes, I believe things are going to get really hot in a number of American bases around the globe.
On the Homefront mind you, all across America, I envisage a more brutal military police State with martial law imposed to quell the daily riots
I saw a car on the freeway with a Ukrainian flag… it was driving slow, holding up the lane… figures. I gave her a dirty look when I blew by her. The Karen at the wheel had no clue. But, she also had an FJB bumper sticker sign (the “real” one, not our version).
Our people don’t have bumper stickers.
My group of people are all aware of what’s going on. We don’t watch news on the TV except when there’s a “high speed pursuit” on the freeway. I guess that’s something deep enough in our hearts. to go do 120 mph (90 if on a Prius), thumbing our nose at the CHP and all kinds of civilized behavior in stop and go traffic… …. OK, the Karens going slow do not have such fantasies.
We knew where the Ukraine was… when the Russkies were the Soviets and Chuck Morris was kicking a$$.
I got some Polish American friends. We don’t talk about Russia. We talk about women, vodka, whatever… nothing about Russia. Ever – even before the Ukraine went fascist.
“These foolish political mis-notions cannot be blamed on the average American: …..”
Way I see it is who gobbles up the shit and says yum? Not that the less developed people whose stolen resources the American hoi polloi get a comfort cut out of are blameless. Nobody is blameless. But you have to try and understand it so you can help fix it, that’s each person’s personal responsibility. Wondering around aimlessly while fat, stupid and insouciant is probably worse than being perplexed with a starvation distended belly, but still, individuals on both sides have at least a duty to try and figure it out as it really is. Truth is out there if you know how to think, are interested in it, and care to look around. But anyway, in the end, when the bright flashes and shock waves take place, saying what did I do to deserve this just won’t cut it.